In 2016, Boston Big Local contributed to a research project conducted by Local Trust aimed at learning more about the extent to which Big Local areas around England are drawing in resources over and above the £1m they have been awarded. The research considered what these resources are and their value. Local Trust has now published their summary report, which you can read here on our website.
Our Big Local Rep, Bill Badham, contributed to the research by completing a survey and Local Trust also visited Boston Big Local to talk to the partnership members in more detail about additional resources in Boston.
In his responses to the survey, the Big Local Rep noted the following types of additional resources for Boston Big Local:
· Income generation
· Volunteers from the local community
· Additional voluntary hours by partner organisation staff
· Technical support
· Free materials
Boston Big Local also cited the contribution of voluntary time from local residents in planning, helping to deliver and marshalling the Boston Marathon event, which is supported by Boston Big Local. Boston Borough Council also provided match funding for the Boston Beach, and both of these events attracted support from the Mayor and the local council.
The harnessing of these additional resources has had a positive effect in the area. The Boston Big Local partnership commented that the additional resources have encouraged higher levels of community action and helped them to build relationships locally. This has raised awareness of Big Local funding and highlighted the needs and issues within the Boston area. More importantly, the additional resources have made it possible for Boston Big Local to aspire to and achieve far more ambitious projects than they would otherwise have done.
What has helped the partnership attract additional resources?
The research looked at how Big Local partnerships were managing to attract additional resources. In Boston Big Local, it was a matter of tapping into existing networks and making the most of the profile of some of the partnership members within the community. The continuing commitment and energy of the Chair and partnership members has also been vital, as has the support from important local contacts such as the Mayor and the local authority.
The most useful form of additional resource for Boston Big Local has undoubtedly been the time people have given to help the project, especially for events such as Boston Marathon UK. Volunteers put in a lot of time for the marathon event – not just on the day, but by attending meetings to help organise the event, and going along to briefings and training sessions.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Boston Big Local project, you can find out more by emailing the Plan Co-ordinator at email@example.com.
Here are Boston Big Local’s top tips for other Big Local areas on making the most of additional resources:
“Think about how additional resources can help you to catalyse community action.”
“Remember that it takes time to manage volunteers, but it is worth the effort.”
“Active and visible support from local people and organisations really helps things to happen.”